My friend hooked me up with 12 bales of hay for $2.50 a bale, which is remarkably cheap. I usually buy 80-100 lb bales of orchard for $14. This hay is pretty light, 40-50lbs. It's not very green, but green enough. It's believed to be orchard, timothy, and oat. It's the first cutting, but not terribly weedy, it's very soft, and it smells good. My concern is nutrition, I have no clue about oat hay. I've never fed it before. I'm wondering if it would affect my girls to feed them only this hay [plus pasture and Safe Choice] or if it would be better to feed them this hay while I'm also feeding my orchard? Thanks in advance. =]
I think combining the two hays would be safest and best.
I have fed oat hay and horses seem to love it, but I have no idea of the nutritional content. Since the nutritional value is going to be mostly in the grain, and very little in the stem or stalk I would think that it has a very different nutritional content that orchard grass or timothy, but that's really just a guess.
We overseed our hayfields with oats, back when we were seriously farming. We would cut hay just before the oats "head," when they are at their optimal nutritional valule (according to my inlaws.) Our hay was basically just prairie hay (except for the oats). It was a blend of bermuda grass, big and little blue stem grass, clover, the oats, of course, and other native grasses. We also fertilized our hay fields, which actually seemed to help keep the weeds down.
We lost all of our farm equipment in a terrible wild fire a few years back (before we got horses again). Our neighbor has agreed to cut hay for us on shares, and we will use his equipment to once again bring our hay fields back to what they were - which won't be that hard because they still look good after all these years. I'm really looking forward to finally having the quality of hay I want, instead of having to buy whatever is available!